‘War is over!’ Scuffles in Tokyo as anti-military protesters rally against Abe policy

Aki Okuda, founding member of the protest group Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy (SEALDs), shouts slogans during a rally against Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's security bill and his administration in front of the parliament in Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2015. © Yuya Shino
Scuffles have occurred in Tokyo as scores of anti-military protesters have rallied in front of Japanese parliament, which is on track to pass controversial legislation allowing troops to be deployed abroad for the first time since WWII.

"Scrap the unconstitutional war bills", “Give peace a chance”, “War Is Over”, “Peace, Not War,” said the banners, held by the demonstrators on Wednesday. Some of the participants were carrying the portraits of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with the words “No War”.

Several protesters have been detained during the rally with police dragging them from the site.

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Japanese lawmakers claim that the bill is necessary as Japan has currently to meet numerous challenges, including China. Its opponents say, however, that it opens a way for Tokyo’s involvement in international conflict.

The bill has already been ratified by the lower house of the Japanese parliament, the Diet, despite a 120,000-strong demonstration last month, and will be brought before the upper house this week.

READ MORE: ‘Scrap war legislation!’ Thousands protest Japan’s unpopular new military doctrine

Tokyo has been swept by similar protests recently. On Tuesday about 45,000 protesters rallied in front of parliament against the military legislation, according to organizers, Sogakari Movement.

"Abe's government is currently not listening to the voices of the people, and many things are being pulled back to the past in a bad way, so I can't keep quiet, So I came here because I don't want my children or grandchildren to be in a situation like that of during war or before war," 69-year-old protester Yasuko Yanagihara told Reuters.

Police officers detain protesters taking part in a rally against Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's security bill and his administration in front of the parliament in Tokyo, Japan, September 15, 2015. © Yuya Shino